You should use surge protectors on expensive equipment.
When it comes to poo, wirecutter.com reeks. Outright lies abound. It says nothing about protection - as that poster demonstrated by not citing one technical fact.. Somehow outside appearance and an ability to 'block' a surge determines quality.
Where does wirecutter.com discuss a number of absorbed joules? Ignored. When does it say what that proptector does to protect anything. Nothing stated. Not one specification numbers - the first indication of a scam.
A $14 protector or those many expensive wirecutter.com recommendations - all are nothing more than $3 power strips with five cent protector parts. None - not one - can (or even tries to) answer this question. Where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate? A solution that costs abut $1 per appliance has done that protection routinely even over 100 years ago.
Clamping voltage says nothing useful. Surges are a current source - not a voltage source/ A protector with near zero joules will be at a voltage approaching 900 volts. A 'whole house' protector (properly sized) remains at maybe as much as 400 volts. Surge protection is always about current - not voltage. Anything that foolishly tries to block that current only increases the voltage. Current source - another fundamental concept that the electrically informed are taught in the first semester. Alarm guys never learn what is it since alarm systems do not use current sources. And do not require electrical knowledge to be installed.
Anything that foolishly tries to 'block' or 'absorb' a surge means voltage will increase as necessary to keep current flowing. A surge is a current source; not a voltage source. Surge will simply blow through a plug-in protector. No problem. A surge that destroys a protector is also too tiny to overwhelm superior protection already inside all appliances. Wirecutter.com never discusses that well understood EE concept. But then it need not discuss it. They are marketing a scam only to the most electrically naive.
Even those reviews admit that a protector must somehow 'block' or 'absorb' a surge. Any informed adult can see the problem. How does that 2 cm parts 'block' what three miles of sky cannot. It cannot. A scam is easily promoted.
How does its tiny joules 'absorb' hundreds of thousands of joules. Scammed consumers will not even discuss that [censored] question. Otherwise they have to admit to so easilly being scammed.
No protector does protection. Not one. An effective protector does not foolishly try to 'block' or 'absorb' a surge. An effective protector connect a surge (ie 20,000 amps) harmlessly to earth ground so that no voltage is inside on appliances. Essential to even protect tiny joule plug-in protectors - to avert fire.
Companies (and products) well known for integrity are not anywhere in that wirecutter.com citation.
Why did APC finally admit some 15 million protectors must be removed immediate due to many hundreds of house fires. Well APC has more credibility that others such as Tripplite, Belkin, Panamax, and Monster. But even this APC protector (and fire) is not on APC's recall list: https://imgur.com/hwCWHMW
Apparently that model has not created almost 1000 house fires.
Critical to every layer of protection is the only item that does protection - that harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. Effective protectors connect low impedance (ie less than 10 foot) to earth via a 'whole house' protector. As professionals have well known for over 100 years. Facilities (even 100 years ago) that cannot have damage always use a properly earthed solution. An employee might even be fired for using ineffective and fire prone Belkin, APC, Tripplite, et al protectors. FAcilities that cannot have damage cannot have items that create fires.
Properly earthed 'whole house' protector means a surge current remains outside. And only creates a few hundreds of volts. That same current can create 900 volts in a tiny joule plug-in protector. That same current that destroyed near zero protectors is also too tiny to damage adjacent electronics. Unless (of course) that protector foolishly connects that current 8000 volts destructively through some nearby TV.
An IEEE brochure demonstrates a protector in one room earths a surge 8000 volts destructively via a TV in an adjacent room. It failed to block a surge. So it diverts that current (not voltage - current) to earth destructively via any nearby appliance.
Most transients are routinely made irrelevant by superior protection already inside appliances. Any surge (maybe one every ten years) that might overwhelm that superior protection must be earthed BEFORE entering a building. But that requires an informed consumer.
Surge protectors that cannot connect to earth ground (too far away) are rated in numbers of joules to be 'blocked' or 'absorbed'. Wirecutter.com and other propaganda will never discuss such numbers. Even clamping voltage (which is both irrelevant and incorrectly cited) is irrelevant. Effective protectors are rated in amps.
A direct lightning strike can be 20,000 amps. So a minimally sized 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Since protectors must not fail for many decades and after many direct lightning strikes. And must not fail catastrophically as tiny joule plug-in protectors do.
Effective protectors are not sacrificial devices. Profit increase when they are.
Anyone can also cite noise filtering inside a protector - with a number. Nobody does. A filter might exist - that does nothing for noise. That filter diverts more of a surge aways from protector parts - to avert fire. Then a protector is less likely to create a fire during testing - to obtain a UL 1449 listing. A passive filter must weight tens of pounds to perform noise filtering. Obviously the tiny filter in a protector does nothing for noise.
Professionals note this constantly. Protection is always about the earth ground. Only then can hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate safely outside; not be anywhere inside. Effective protectors always have a low impedance (ie less than 10 foot) connection to earth. Since that connection (not the protector) defines all protection. Articles that promote scams do not even discuss products from manufacturers of integrity. Profit centers are recommended by another educated only by lies in wirecutter.com
Protectors that actually do protection always - as in always - have a low impedance connection to single point earth ground. To even protect tiny joules plug-in protectors that cost many times more money. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Only honest posters know that and know why. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Only then is everything protected.